Nevada Assembly District 40 candidate questions | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Assembly District 40 candidate questions

Alvin (Al) P. Kramer

Party: Republican

Address: 4640 Old Clear Creek Road

Occupation: Retired

Age: 70

Contact: (775)721-5865; akramer_cc@yahoo.com

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Record of Service: Two years as State Assemblyman;one year as Investment Deputy for the State of Nevada Treasurer; twenty years as Carson City Treasurer; over a year as Operations Deputy for the State of Nevada Treasurer; four years as a computer programmer for the State of Nevada; 15 years as accountant, computer programmer or purchasing agent in private sector; 5 years US Army as a military intelligence officer.

Education: Awarded MBA from Claremont Graduate School; Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University; graduated from Fernley High School, Fernley, Nevada.

Brief statement on your platform: For the past two years, as your Assemblyman, it has been my pleasure to help the people of Carson City and east Washoe Valley. Since I grew up in this area, I feel as though I'm looking out for my neighbors and friends, those I know and those I've yet to meet.

I want to ensure that our economy stays on a constructive growth pattern, with a steadily climbing economy that benefits but does not disrupt our way of life. To achieve this, we need to ensure our educational system meets the needs and wants of the community and businesses. We need to maintain the economic development efforts begun by Governor Sandoval, and ensure a healthy businesses climate without burdensome regulations.

At the same time, I believe that one of governments obligations is to provide a safety net for those who, by reasons of bad health (both physical and mental), age (both young and old) or sometimes just bad luck (lost job or injury) cannot make it on their own.

I will continue to vote for an open and transparent government.

Finally, I worked across the aisle in the last session and believe that the best legislation comes from bipartisanship.

What is one issue affecting the lives of Northern Nevadans that you would work to fix?

It is said that sufficient cash flow will fix almost all problems. While Nevada's revenue is better this year than in the past, the price tags on the 'wants' will cost much more than the most generous estimate of revenues for this next biennium. Hard choices will have to be made while balancing the budget. I am hoping that funds will allow more to be spent on Nevada's mental health problems. Dealing with this early in a person's life not only makes for better 'quality of life' but takes pressure off emergency rooms and jails. Carson City has shown success with the Mallory Crisis Center. While only 10 beds, it has had a very beneficial impact on those who pass through that facility. Our deputy sheriffs now have an option other than the emergency room or the jail when they encounter a person with erratic behavior. In my mind, people are homeless for one of three reasons: some want to be 'bums' and not work; some have had a series of unfortunate events and are temporarily (hopefully) down on their luck; and some suffer from mental illness. I believe that more mental health resources are a prerequisite for easing the homelessness problems. Mental health funding will be the priority funding for me. Another priority is to ensure our continuing the State's financial stability. During this last recession Nevada went through its Rainy Day Fund very fast. Currently the fund has about 20 days of spending. One of the priorities has to be to build this up so that should we have another such recession, we don't have to cut services back as much as we during this last example. If we can't fund these two goals with the economy growing as fast as it is, when will we have the money. As State revenues are growing, I don't see a need for new or increased taxes unless severe, unforeseen events occur.

Autumn Zemke

Party: Democrat

Address: 1207 King St.

Occupation: Small Business Owner & Political Candidate

Age: 43

Contact: Autumn@AutumnForNevada.com; (775) 583-8556; AutumnForNevada.com

Record of Service: Northern Nevada Working Families Party Co-Chair, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), National Association of State Judicial Educators (NASJE)

Education: University of Nevada, Reno

Brief statement on your platform: Our campaign is focused on helping the hard-working people of Assembly District 40. Access to high-quality affordable health care is a human right. No one should be denied medical services based on income. We are also focused on affordable access to childcare. We need to give Nevada's families a hand up. We must also protect our environment. I believe we can balance the economic needs of Nevadans and protect our environment if we are willing to think and act boldly using scientific facts. The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing issues. The criminalization and incarceration of individuals who suffer from addiction have not led to a positive outcome. We must hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable while guaranteeing services for individuals who seek treatment. However, we must not ostracize individuals who suffer from chronic pain including veterans. Additionally, we must provide relief to individuals who have marijuana convictions.

Our district also needs an effective leader in the state legislature. We do not need somebody who is going to fight for very specific interests such as easements for private roads. I will work strategically with my fellow legislators to pass legislation to help our working families.

What is one issue affecting the lives of Northern Nevadans that you would work to fix?

If I could fix one issue in Northern Nevada I would fix our affordable housing crises. Our neighbors are being priced out of their apartments and homes. Additionally, many individuals who call the weekly motels their home are being forced out to make way for developments without a plan in place to rehome them. Many families are paying well over 50 percent of their income for housing, which results in families not being able to afford basic necessities such as food and medicine, or pay other household bills, all the while working 40 hours or more a week.

The number of affordable units being constructed has not kept up with demand. I believe we must grow responsibly while at the same time take care of our community. I support revising our landlord-tenant laws that ensure protections for tenants while safeguarding the rights of the owners. In addition, we need legislation that requires affordable housing for individuals.

No individual should be homeless. I support a housing-first model, stabilization and consistency without conditions. A housing-first model concentrates on getting people into a stable home and then addressing and treating other issues that may be present. Housing-first models have demonstrated positive outcomes, especially amongst veterans, and should be expanded.

Ensuring our neighbors are in stable, affordable homes benefits everyone in our community. During the 2016-2017 school year there were over 3,500 homeless students in Washoe and Carson City schools. Homeless students miss more days and have diminished educational outcomes and that impacts Nevada in a variety of ways. When we do not have an educated workforce, it is difficult to attract businesses that will contribute to an economy with good paying jobs. Furthermore, children who are in stable homes and receive a good education graduate from high school, and that makes them less likely to use social programs or end up in our criminal justice system.

Ensuring our neighbors have homes is not only the morally right thing to do, but the economically expedient route, ensuring we, as Nevadans, receive value for our taxes. Our neighbors are not looking for a handout, but rather a hand up — the opportunity to lead productive lives in a Nevada where we all have the possibility to thrive.